Lost in Space Episode 39: Curse of Cousin Smith

General Information

Director: Justus Addiss

Writer: Barney Slater

Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, and Henry Jones

Composer: Robert Drasnin

Air Date: 11/16/1966

Production #: 9510

 

Overview

Upon arriving on the planet, Jeremiah Smith (Henry Jones) initiates a feud with his cousin Zachary—legal heir to the fortune of a deceased aunt. Hoping to eliminatelost-in-space-curse-of-cousin-smith his relative, Jeremiah tricks Dr. Smith into betting against a rigged, homicidal gambling device. Only the ingenuity of Professor Robinson can save the Smith cousins from each other.

By combining juvenile camp with insufferable pacing, “Curse of Cousin Smith” will likely alienate the majority of Lost in Space enthusiasts. Especially worth criticizing is the manner of Cousin Jeremiah, whom unwitting viewers could realistically mistake for a second-rate parody of Colonel Sanders.

 

Pros

lost-in-space-curse-of-cousin-smithIn the penultimate scene, Zachary and Jeremiah are chased back to the Jupiter 2 by a menacing, uncontrollable machine demanding payment for a successful bet. Desperate to end the shenanigans of both men, Professor Robinson employs a brilliant maneuver against the aforementioned machine—arguably the only highlight of this episode.

 

Cons

Though amusing on paper, the Tom-and-Jerry antics of Zachary and Jeremiah suffer from a languid, anticlimactic execution. For example, an explosive cream pie islost-in-space-curse-of-cousin-smith passed back and forth between the Smith cousins at one point in the narrative; but takes an inordinate amount of time to detonate, thereby undermining any potential comedic value.

Also cringe-inducing, Professor Robinson—a mature and dignified leader—must repeatedly act as a mediator between two belligerent, overgrown children. Fans of the Robinson patriarch may therefore wish to avoid this offering, which fails to properly utilize its ostensible main character until the final act.

 

Analysis

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Concluding Comments

A boring, asinine effort, “Curse of Cousin Smith” can best be described as a live-action cartoon, the slapstick humor of which often results in a stale, groan-worthy outcome. For this reason among others, audiences would be wise to search elsewhere for a compelling science fiction story.

 

Overall Quality: 1/10

 

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7 thoughts on “Lost in Space Episode 39: Curse of Cousin Smith

  1. I do not find this story “boring.” Maybe in the old days I did, but like many, this has grown on me through the years. Of course this is not classic LOST IN SPACE, but I could still watch it every day of the week. I find it highly entertaining.

    Like I always say, if I had to pick a most “boring” episode, that would be my very least favorite of all, “A Day At The Zoo.” But like them all, I can still find fun with it. I just find that one more “boring” than all the others..not “Curse Of Cousin Smith.” :-]

    • I actually like the campy humor in certain episodes, but the slow pacing of this one absolutely kills any potential enjoyment for me. Also, the Colonel Sanders shtick just grates on my senses for some reason.

      While “A Day at the Zoo” isn’t my least favorite, I do consider it to be a poor man’s version of “The Keeper” episodes from season one. It’s definitely not a good effort by any means, and the Farnum character irritates me almost as much as Jeremiah Smith.

  2. Hi Jon. Thank you for letting my post go public. I think I will like it here, and will get more and more involved in time.. :-]

    I just wrote a long reply, but then I could not send it. Is there a limit to how many characters I can type?

    More later.. :-]

    • That’s strange… I’m not aware of any character limits, though it’s possible that one of my plugins interfered with your comment. I’ll see if I can determine the source of the problem.

  3. This is my number twenty-six ranked episode for the classic down home, cozy and fun, colored mid season..my second favorite season of the series, despite its much maligned and unwarranted status.. :-]

  4. I did not think a whole lot of this one back in the old days of the 1970s, but this is precisely the types of stories that have grown on me through the years. This is obviously not a ‘thrill a minute’ episode, but they do not at all need to be.

    Although this episode is quite unexplainable and far-fetched, it can be enjoyed quite well for its down home and cozy LOST IN SPACE warmth.

    That being said, it is one of the bottom five episodes of the season..